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Taliban will face a very strong Afghan force in 2014: NATO

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Taliban will face a very strong Afghan force in 2014: NATO
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Washington: Undeterred by the recent spurt in insider’s attacks in Afghanistan, NATO has said Taliban will miscalculate the situation if they think their situation will be better by the end of 2014, because they will be faced with a very strong and capable Afghan security force.

"They will not be in a stronger position. When we (will) stop our combat mission, a very capable Afghan security force will take over. We are building up the number of Afghan security forces and by 2014, we will have 352,000 Afghan forces. And more importantly, quality-wise they will be very capable," NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said.

In an interview to popular Charlie Rose show of PBS News, Rasmussen said he was very "impressed" by seeing Afghan forces in action during his last visit to the country.

Asserting that NATO's security transition in Afghanistan remains on track and there is no change in its strategy, Rasmussen said NATO has outlined a clear roadmap for a gradual handover of responsibility to the Afghan security forces.

"We have 50 countries in our ISAF coalition - 28 NATO allies and 22 partners - and we have agreed on a roadmap according to which we will gradually hand over lead responsibility to the Afghans," he said.

He stressed that the attacks will not derail its strategy in Afghanistan, but termed them as matter of "great concern."

"People ask, and legitimately so, why is it that we send trainers to help the Afghans and they turn their weapons against the very same trainers? These insider attacks threaten to undermine trust and confidence between foreign troops and Afghan security forces," he said.

NATO commanders on the ground have introduced some temporary measures to prevent the attacks under which NATO forces will not conduct joint operations with Afghan security forces, Rasmussen said.

PTI

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